Gold medical future for former Hockeyroo

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Summer 7-1-2013

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



Former Hockeyroos gold medallist and Order of Australia Medal recipient, Rachel Dwyer OAM (nee Imison), says studying Medicine at The University of Notre Dame Australia has enhanced the ethical and professional skills she will require in her chosen profession of paediatrics.

Mrs Dwyer chose to study Medicine at Notre Dame for the support provided to mature-age students and students with families, and the reputation its graduates have in the medical industry.

The mother of one graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery from Notre Dame's Fremantle Campus in December 2012. After working for five years as a Paediatric Orthotist at Princess Margaret Hospital while playing professional hockey, Mrs Dwyer will begin at Royal Perth Hospital in 2013 with a keen interest in paediatrics and obstetrics.

"I previously studied a Bachelor of Prosthetics and Orthotics with Honours at La Trobe University in Victoria which involved making artificial limbs and external body braces to help people function more normally," Mrs Dwyer said.

"It's a specialised area and there are only a handful of clinicians of this sort in Australia. I really enjoy this area as I want to do a bit more within paediatrics in the coming years."

Mrs Dwyer began playing hockey at the age of six and represented Victoria in both under-age and open-age competitions.

She progressed to play 207 games of hockey for Australia as the country's number one goalkeeper. Since debuting as an 18-year-old against Korea in 1997, Mrs Dwyer has competed at three Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games, two World Cups, and eight Champions Trophy tournaments.

Mrs Dwyer said her most memorable moment whilst playing for Australia was winning the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 in front of her family and friends. As a result of this remarkable achievement, Mrs Dwyer received the Order of Australia Medal in 2001 for her service to sport.

"I was only 20 years old when I won gold in Sydney. It was pretty surreal and even today I don't think I appreciate how significant it is," Mrs Dwyer said.

"I felt blessed to be part of such a successful team back in the era of Dr Ric Charlesworth who shared his unparalleled hockey insight with me and the rest of the squad.

"It was also a very humbling experience to win the Order of Australia Medal at such a young age. I was the youngest at the ceremony by far and all the medalists around me had achieved superhuman feats in the areas of science, social justice and benevolence.

"The best part about representing Australia was doing something that I loved and getting to travel the world with people with whom you have become really good friends.

"The pride of representing your country – you can't really compare that to anything."

Inquire about studying Medicine at Notre Dame today. Visithttp://www.nd.edu.au/fremantle/schools/medicine/medfreo.shtml for more information.

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